I’m sure most of you have heard the grumblings about Maryland’s bowl placement by now. Tied for 3rd in the ACC, the Terps ended up with the 8th “best” bowl attached to the conference. Two pressing questions obviously arise – why did this happen and how can it change?
It really all comes down to fan support. Compared to the other bowl eligible teams from the ACC, Maryland just ultimately didn’t bring enough to the table in terms of travelling fan support for some of the bigger bowls to warrant a selection. It sucks, and it’s unfair. It’s yet another case of the BCS being a broken system – the best teams aren’t rewarded properly for their effort. I’m an adamant proponent of the playoff system, and one of the biggest arguments against it has been that with the current system, “every game counts”. Tell that to Maryland. Tell that to Temple, who went 8-4 and defeated Big East Champion UConn, but will not play in a bowl game this winter.
To paraphrase and expand on a tweet from Maryland left tackle R.J. Dill, why even play the games? Why not just invite the teams with the biggest fan support to the big bowl games every season and just say screw the regular season? If that’s how the selections are going to play out, I see no reason to have this mirage of the “most important regular season in all of sports”. Of course, I hyperbolize, but its utterly ridiculous.
Ultimately, however, without major changes in the system, it comes down to you guys. Maryland has the reputation within the ACC of having an undedicated fanbase. Prove them wrong. Go to the Military Bowl. Go to all of the games next year. Fill up Byrd Stadium with a sea of red. This is a team that will be one of the favorites to win the ACC next year. Think about that. It’s a remarkable achievement to go from 2-10 to a favorite to win the conference in two years. I hope you all join me in person next year to watch the journey.